Director John Huston, while a member of the U.S. Army Signal Corps in 1943, creates an Academy Award winning documentary, which he narrates with assistance from his actor father Walter, treating of the Armed Forces' successful effort to prevent the fall of the Aleutian Islands to advancing Japanese troops who had captured several islets. Although no claim can be reasonably made that this location was of major strategic importance during the War, it presented enormous tactical and logistic difficulty for those assigned there, and Huston's color film demonstrates the determined ensemble work upon the outpost of Adak by a wide range of military specialists who combat loneliness and boredom along with notably severe weather conditions. The work was made over a six month period, and is climaxed by the preparations for, followed by an actual filming of, a bombing run over Japanese-occupied Kiska, wherein Huston nearly lost his life, and which is significant for its combat footage and for the atmosphere of suspense present in the viewer who wonders if all will return safely.
September 25, 2019 Subject:
The Thousand-Mile War
This is the propaganda version of this battle. The book that covers this is "The Thousand-Mile War" by Brian Garfield. Read that and you'll wonder how they ever pulled this off. They suffered, they fought, and more men were killed by weather than combat.
February 14, 2018 Subject:
From a Native
I stumbled on a link to this from Wikipedia. I was born on Adak in 1968. I believe conditions were much better then. My older brothers missed it when we moved back down to the "Lower 48" (I was only 10 months old so don't remember it myself). My military dad tells me Adak was hated by people who didn't get outside and enjoy it for what it was, or loved by people who adapted to what it did offer. I met a WW2 Adak vet once who, upon learning I was born there, had nothing but bad to say about the place. The Aleuts themselves lived there or nearby for thousands of years quite contentedly. On the military documentary side of things, I was really on the edge of my seat, particularly at the ending bombing run. I've never seen a documentary like this before. I now serve with the 7th Infantry Division--the spearhead of the Kiska invasion all those years ago. Wow.
January 22, 2012 Subject:
This DoD print is better quality but appears to be a minute shorter:
December 2, 2005 Subject:
My dad was in the Aleutians during WWII so I watched this. This is a propaganda film. It does not begin to relate the huge mistakes made, the tragedy upon tragedy, or the reasons why it is known as "the forgotton war". Maybe someday the truth will come out but even 60 years after it is still too sad, too horrible, to be remembered for what it was.
November 6, 2005 Subject:
Report From the Aleutians
Starts out slowly but the bombing run at the end had me on the edge of my seat. This will be around for as long as human civilization survives.